Sunday, November 23, 2014

What’s Cookin’? Crock-pot Honey Balsamic Pork Roast (mmmmm!)

There is something about the weather turning cold and the impending holiday season that sets the tone for staying home on the weekends and cooking for my family.  Matt and I both enjoy cooking in our home as you may have picked up on in our previous posts.  I would not describe anything we do as complicated (okay, depends on your standards), but my toddlers entering the room certainly complicates our cooking these days. 

The boys want to be in on the action and help of course if they aren't already under foot.
This post kicks off a series of posts about different things created in my kitchen lately.

As you might imagine, I have a lot of pork in my freezer.  While I enjoy making roasts in the crock-pot, it felt like I was doing the same thing over and over.  Googling ‘crock pot roast pork’ can be overwhelming and some of those recipes are so darn complicated, my children are not going to let me take my time and fumble through.  Luck was on my side that day and one recipe jumped out at me.  Thank you Six Sisters Stuff for the inspiration with your Slow Cooker Honey Balsamic Pork Roast Recipe.  I had all of the key ingredients and ad-libbed a little to come up with this fabulous dish.

I generally start my crock-pot with veggies I have on hand so I don’t have to prepare any vegetables as sides for my meal.  I emptied a one pound bag of baby carrots into the bottom of the crock pot and sliced a medium onion into petals.  Then I added a large handful of peppers from our garden we had cut up back in the summer and froze in a gallon Ziploc bag for purposes like this.

Next, I put fresh ground pepper and Kosher salt on my pork roast and seared all of the edges in our cast iron skillet (if you don’t know, this helps hold in the flavor and keeps the roast moist, by holding in the natural juices). 

Now, drizzle ¼ cup of honey over the roast. 

Lastly I gently poured a mixture of 8 oz. beef broth (I used bouillon), ½ cup balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce, and 1 tsp of garlic powder.

Cook on low until roast reaches 160° using a meat thermometer.  (My crockpot seems to cook faster than the time most recipes call for, easily drying out a meat if not monitored—this only took mine 3 hours on low even though the original recipe called for 8-10 hours)

When it was finished I placed the meat on a plate, strained the vegetables into a bowl, and then put the remaining juice in a sauce pan and brought it to a boil.  I mixed 2 tbsp. cornstarch with a few tbsp. of water and whisked this mixture into my boiling juice to thicken it.  I served this beside my meat rather than pouring it on since the meat was already so moist and some prefer to enjoy the meat without a sauce masking the natural flavor.  (Perhaps grocery store pork could use this, but with the full flavor of our Fork Right Farm pork, I prefer the sauce on the side so I can enjoy the innate essence of the meat.)

Not all recipes I find on the internet are worthy of documenting in my Favorites recipe book, but this one sure was, and even became a post.  The vegetables were especially sweet and flavorful.   I definitely suggest this recipe for your next crock pot pork roast!

I wish I had more pictures to share.  Next time I make this recipe I'll be sure to take some step-by-step photos so I can edit the post and include them for the reader.

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